Life is a circus as of late - lots of flaming pins being juggled in the air at the same .. I'm currently taking bets which one will fall first. The heaviest one you say? Well you must be right... :)
I observed something recently that made me think 'I need to blog this' ... and I'm not even sure what to to say/think about it, but I figure that it's worth making sense of in writing.
The girls planted seedlings at church a few weeks ago. Some forget-me-nots and a strawberry plant. They had a grand old time painting their clay pots and wrapping them up to give as Valentine's presents to us. As it typically goes with ANY living thing that requires care, we have now inherited these small plants :)
As I was watering them the other day, I noticed something that perhaps I hadn't before. One of them - my oldest's - watered nicely. The soil drank down the cool stream of water and seemed to breathe a sigh of relief when it was full. The other one was much, much different.
As I poured the water, it immediately began to overflow - not because it was already watered, but because it was SO SO dry and the soil wasn't packed tight enough. The water I was pouring actually caused the soil to shift and float .. and then the water actually created a bubble on the top - as though I had poured it on the counter top. What did this mean? So I, who LOATHES getting my hands dirty, put the water down and tried to pack down the soil. It was so far beyond repair that it just caused WAY more of a mess - dry soil in the sink, tidbits of earth stuck to my fingers, water with swirls of grime racing across the table...what a mess.
So being who I am, I instantly thought about this from a metaphorical point of view. From the surface, both of these pots looked similar. Their size was the same. They appeared to be even with the amount of soil there was. Even though the painting and name on the outside of the pots were different, the fact that paint was there in the first place is 'same' enough. They came from the same seedling packet. From the same store. They were made in the same place - pretty much at the same time.
BUT the truth? The truth is that under what appeared to be the same, they weren't. One was made to endure the pressure of water. The other was not. One soaked up the life-giving liquid and seemed to sigh with contentment. The other pushed away this life-giving liquid and required intervention to be put back together.
So what did I ultimately do? Normally, I would have just thrown it out essentially considered the 'mess' not worth the investment to make it right (read: dirty hands and a few minutes of time). But not this time. This time, I carefully and deliberately packed and repacked the soil. I made sure that it was watered to contentment and the outside of the pot was cleaned.
SO what did this teach me? Many things, surprisingly. It taught me that a little investment goes a long, long way - and can even be 'life-giving.' If that seedling does in fact grow in that pot, I know that it was my effort that encouraged that. This situation also taught me that what appears to be the same on the outside is definitely NOT on the inside. . .
Think about this the next time you see two successful business women walking together into a beautiful building, or maybe the next time you see two new Moms walking their babies in strollers to get off the extra few pounds. Two similarly packaged people doing the same thing. Perhaps one would flourish with watering...perhaps the other would break with watering - but always know that you can make the conscious decision to help them pack down the soil and withstand the tension from the steady stream.